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The free state project has chosen its state.(10 posts)

The free state project has chosen its state.dr hoo
Oct 5, 2003 5:36 PM

This is a group whose goal is to get 20k ACTIVIST libertarians to move to a state and attempt to influence the state towards a libertarian ideal. They hit the 5k number, which triggered the vote for which state. New Hampshire.

Have you heard of this? Will they get to 20k? Will 20k people have that large an effect?

I think the libertarians might be able to make a run at becoming a viable third party over the next decade. I know that some libertarians have pulled double digits in state wide races. Many, many people I know count themselves as libertarian, but see voting the party as a waste of a vote. But if they take over NH, with its position and power in the presidential elections, might they use that as a springboard?

As a side note, I love watching the libertarian conventions. Listening to an accountant in a nice conservative suit talk, then hearing some leather clad tattooed biker speak immediately after always warms my heart.
or influenceDougSloan
Oct 5, 2003 8:07 PM
Libertarians are probably not electable in most places. However, they can and do influence people, and eventually I think both parties will be catering to at least some Libertarian policies, if not already.

No doubt Libertarianism is the most pure of political ideologies in America that has any chance (assuming communism does not). That's why you can see people from various walks of life behind it. When you effectively are no longer result oriented, but are ideologically motivated, the appeal is potentially much more diverse.

Libertarians love freedom, but it's a tough love. Sure, you are free to smoke dope, but don't go looking to anyone to buy it (or anything else) for you.

or influencefiltersweep
Oct 6, 2003 5:52 AM
There are way too many conservatives for libertarians to establish much of a foot hold...or liberals, for that matter. I've always been intrigued by how libertarians alienate both the right and the left at the same time- expousing too much freedom for the right and too much responsibility for the left.

Unfortunately, the major parties tend to pick the worst aspects of libertarian ideals- responsibilities without the freedoms, or freedoms without the responsibilites... take your pick!
New Hampshire is a good choice. If any state isOldEdScott
Oct 6, 2003 4:49 AM
going to go Libertarian, it's one of the very few likely candidates.
20,000 people will have an effect,TJeanloz
Oct 6, 2003 5:10 AM
New Hampshire is not a big state. And they have proposed Coos and Grafton counties as their base - which are small, northern counties, where 20,000 people would significantly change the population. I know this isn't the plan, but if they were to found a new city, it would be the largest in either of those counties. So there's no question they can influence politics in their part of the state. Which could, probably pretty easily, get them a Representative in the U.S. House.

The problem they face, however, is that New Hampshire has been probably the most libertarian state through its history, and is currently suffering badly as a result of some of these policies. Schools are bad, roads are worse, and jobs that you don't need an education for and that you don't have to drive to are getting few and far between. If anything, the state will be forced to get less libertarian to fund schools, and some other essential services.

Another issue is that people in New Hampshire love politics. Particularly Presidential politics. They aren't very easily swayed by new ideas, unless they are convinced they make sense. They don't necessarily toe any party's line. It's a tough place to think that you will win a lot of political converts.
They considered Wyomingmoneyman
Oct 6, 2003 6:39 AM
Think about that. We have 400,000+ people, so 20,000 people would be 5% of the entire population, and a much larger percentage of the voting population.

There are significant barriers to living here, especially for people who are accustomed to more populated areas. Wyoming has been described as a medium sized city with very long streets. It is quite rural, isolated, and fairly limited in economic opportunity. We have essentially no manufacturing base, and virtually all our natural resources (coal, natural gas, oil, bentonite) are exported. We are also the most Republican state in the union, which would be quite a barrier for the Libertarians.

One thing going for them, had they chosen Wyoming, would have been the fact that it does not take generations to become a player in the political system. There aren't many of us, so the number who have an interest in participating is really quite small.

I'm just glad you're not moving here. I would have personally voted against your citizenship application.

You don't have to worry.dr hoo
Oct 6, 2003 8:33 AM
We have much better beer than WY.
as tjeanloz said.rufus
Oct 6, 2003 6:50 AM
they are planning to move into small towns in the north of new hampshire where their numbers can allow them a significant voice in local, and then state politics. however, they are in for a rude awakening once they do so, for there is a tremendous lack of good paying jobs in these areas.

during their research, they looked at new hampshire's per capita income, and the industrial and high tech jobs available in the state. the problem is, those jobs are concentrated in the towns close to the massachusetts border, like nashua, portsmouth and manchester. once you get in the northern part of the state, it's like a completely different world, full of low tech, low paying service and hospitality jobs. new hampshire is basically two states-the northern half is like vermont, the southern half is massachusetts.

if these people expect to move into a small town like lancaster and have bountiful, high-paying jobs available, or even available or affordable housing, they are in for a surprise.
I believe they'll find the winter clothes too constraining128
Oct 6, 2003 10:43 AM
and bean suppers too social.

"Why has government been instituted at all? Because the passions of men will not conform to the dictates of reason and justice, without constraint." Alexander Hamilton
re: The free state project has chosen its state.eyebob
Oct 6, 2003 11:53 AM
It'll be interesting. There really isn't much in the way of jobs north of Concord so exactly what they'll do for work is anyones guess. What I don't think that the Free Staters are estimating correctly is the New Hampshireites resistance to change. On the surface there would appear to be a rather large and significant Republican/libertarian bent to the State, but that's not exactly correct. (Remember, all politics are local i.e., Demos, Repubs, and libertarians all want their trash collected, roads plowed and streets paved) The fact is that our most efficacious Governor was a Demo that could get along with the crotchedy Reps. from all reaches of the State. Our current Gov. austensibly bought his election (a rich white guy) and he has had great difficulty trying to get much done because he's trying to run the State like he did his business. And remember, he's a Republican elected in a "Republican" State with a significant majority voting for him. So my guess is that they won't try to move too far North (despite their claims) and they'll aim to move to the Western part of the State (Keene, Peterborough) which is within shouting distance of some of the manufacturing/high tech base. That's fairly rural but growing. Their problem there is that it's a fairly strong Demo base.

Personally I think that it'll be fun to see what happens. I'm a liberal demo and I'm hoping that it envigorates both major parties. My prediction. 20K people will not materialize. More like 7-10K. They'll win a few minor elections. They cause a short term boom in new home market. They'll raise public ire (when push comes to shove, people will choose to fund the same ol things that they always have and not allow further "liberties" hence they won't vote for a libertarian because that represents change) and waste their own efforts to reform en masse. I'm also guessing that the politicos around this State will do their best to scare the voters into re-electing them using the same tried and true scare tactics that have worked before. You know the type, they're the same ones used on a National level that every "good" (read: career) politician knows to use.

Anyone want to invest in some land here in NH before it's all bought up?